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Shamanov Injured in Car Crash

Prime Minister Putin visiting paratroopers commander Shamanov in a Moscow military hospital Saturday evening. Alexei Druzhinin

Paratroopers commander Vladimir Shamanov was rushed to the hospital with serious injuries sustained in a car crash that killed one and injured two other military officials near Tula on Saturday morning.

A MAZ truck crushed the BMW sedan carrying Shamanov after swerving into the oncoming lane on Tula's Moskovskoye Shosse, police said.

Shamanov suffered a broken arm and leg and a concussion. Doctors described his condition on Sunday as grave but not life-threatening and said he would undergo surgery this week, Rossia One state television reported.

Also injured in the accident were the acting commander of the 106th paratroopers division, Colonel Alexei Naumets, and Shamanov's aide Colonel Oleg Chernous. Both were hospitalized in serious condition. Their driver, Ensign Oleg Zineyev, died at the scene.

The truck driver, Dovlatsh Elbigiyev, 38, survived and tried to flee the scene but was detained, Interfax reported, citing Tula police. He faces up to five years in prison on charges of moving violations that resulted in a death.

Elbigiyev, a migrant worker from Tajikistan, said he lost control of the truck on the wet road after a car ahead of him suddenly slowed down, reported.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov visited Shamanov in a Moscow military hospital on Saturday.

“Good, at least you are smiling,” Putin told Shamanov, lying under a blanket with his hand and left leg wrapped in bandages. The commander thanked Putin for his visit, promising in televised remarks that he “will be still useful” in the future.

Shamanov led federal forces in the two Chechen wars, during which the army was accused by human rights groups of rights abuses.

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